SOREDI Hosts 2019 SOBC: Igniting Innovation: Building High Impact Communities

By: Codi Spodnik (541) 773-8946

Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI) will host their 16th Annual Southern Oregon Business Conference (SOBC) on Thursday, January 31, 2019, from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Registration begins at 12:30 pm. Held at Inn at the Commons in Medford, this conference seeks to unite municipal partners, educators and private sector business leaders to cultivate vibrant communities in Southern Oregon. Registration is open now at Tickets are $60 for SOREDI Members and $75 for non-members. If you register before December 31, 2018, you’ll be entered into a drawing for an Early Bird Prize package from Eagle Point Golf Course, worth $500. This prize includes an overnight stay, meals at the Talon Grill and a golfing package. Register your team for an innovative afternoon with our speakers. SOBC 2019 is made possible by SOREDI’s generous sponsors: KeyBank, Avista, Moss Adams, Allcare, Pacific Power, KDRV Newswatch12 and Rosebud Media.

Sponsored by KeyBank, Tim Duy, Senior Director of the Oregon Economic Forum and the author of the University of Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators, returns to give us another High Content Economic Forecast. Duy received his BA in Economics in 1991 from the University of Puget Sound and his MS and PhD in Economics in 1998 from the University of Oregon. Following graduate school, Duy worked in Washington DC for the United States Department of Treasury as an economist in the International Affairs Division and later with the G7 Group, a political and economic consultancy for clients in the financial industry. Duy returned to University of Oregon in 2002.

Mary Hebert, WAVTEQ’s Senior VP for North America, will join us from Scottsdale, AZ, to share how Communities Attract High Tech Companies and a High Value Workforce. During her tenure with WAVTEQ, a spinout of The Financial Times, Hebert has worked with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and headed the international strategy effort to attract business to Arizona. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University, where she focused her efforts on tax policy and government incentives. Hebert will look at the Southern Oregon region as a professional site selector and will discuss trends in rapidly growing technology companies and what they are seeking in communities. She will also share insight she’s gleaned from international technology firms and the special considerations they have when evaluating locations in the US.

John Darrow, Senior Principle Engineer at Amazon, will join us from Seattle. He will share High Intensity Trends from Inside Amazon. Darrow grew up in Mt. Shasta and joined Amazon early on, when it was just a scrappy bookstore on the internet. Initially, he spent his time writing code for the systems that process orders, customer data and email. Now, after working for Amazon for 21 years, Darrow plays an executive role in the Fulfillment Technology group, leading the engineering that powers inventory, warehousing and logistics. Darrow is engaged with much of the research science community at Amazon and enjoys working on problems involving resource optimization, planning and execution involving people and machines. He will help our audience grasp the challenges of working with a younger, diverse workforce, utilizing new technologies and distribution channels.

Rob O’ Neill, CPA and Partner at Moss Adams Portland, will join us to discuss High Relevance Tax Law Changes. O’ Neill has practiced public accounting since 1998 and provides state and local tax and credit, and incentive advisory and compliance services to large multistate and multinational companies. He also advises clients on state income tax and incentives related to corporate expansions, acquisitions, dispositions, reorganizations, and entity simplification projects. Throughout his career, Rob has managed several large multistate reverse sales delivered voluntary disclosure services and/or audit defense services in most states. Rob and his team have assisted with the monetization of over $800 million in transferable tax credits.

About SOREDI: Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. is private, membership-based, non-profit organization, governed by a board of directors.

Serving 13 incorporated cities, SOREDI’s mission is to help businesses prosper and advance economic opportunities compatible with community values. Its eight- person staff is charged with local business expansion and new business recruitment efforts, financial assistance to start-up companies through its business loan fund, and management of Enterprise Zones in Jackson and Josephine Counties. The agency was formed as a regional economic development agency in 1987. Learn more at

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